Work begins on the excavation pit for the Museum of the 20th Century in Berlin

Construction site between Potsdamer Strasse, the Neue Nationalgalerie in the background, the Matthäuskirche and the Scharounplatz in the foreground.

BIM model with the plane tree seen from the corner of Potsdamer Strasse and Scharounplatz.

View of the west façade with the plane tree, Mätthäikirchplatz and Matthäuskirche.

At Berlin’s Kulturforum work has begun on the Museum of the 20th Century with the excavation pit planned by WTM Engineers. The museum building was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron for a site in the immediate vicinity of Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie; together the two institutions will thus coherently present the art of the 20th century. The excavation pit is up to 17 meters deep with dimensions of approx. 70 m x 120 m, and directly adjoins Potsdamer Strasse, Sigismundstrasse, Scharounplatz and the Matthäikirchplatz. A heritage-listed European plane tree on the site has been integrated into the design for the building and the excavation pit. The excavation pit was planned entirely by WTM Engineers with use of BIM methodology: as a water-tight trough excavation pit with diaphragm walls and a medium-high back-anchored sealing base.

With the start of construction, WTM Engineers will assume the role of construction management and construction supervision for the special civil engineering works. The museum – a lighthouse project by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation – is due to be completed in 2026.